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01/25/2012 - 5:52pm
Cherington: No luxury tax mandate

Appearing on The Big Show Wednesday afternoon, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said that there was no instruction from ownership to remain under the luxury tax threshold of $178 million.

"There is always a benefit of staying under because if you stay under you're not taxed," Cherington said. "But we have gone over in some previous years, not by much, but we have been over in some previous years. There's no mandate to be under this year, but we'll continue to look at our payroll and context of deals we may or may not make and just do what we feel put us in the best position to win this year and be flexible."

Cherington explained that while there is no instruction to stay under the luxury tax threshold, the team is operating under a self-imposed budget. It was a topic that was broached due to a question regarding the motivation behind training shortstop Marco Scutaro (and thereby relieving the team of $7.67 million against...

01/25/2012 - 5:51pm
Gronkowski (ankle) DNP on 'projected' report

Even though neither of teams in Super Bowl XLVI did not practice Wednesday afternoon, both the Patriots and Giants released a "projected' injury report, with tight end Rob Gronkowski listed as a DNP because of an ankle injury. Here's New England's complete list:

Did Not Practice
TE Rob Gronkowski (ankle)

Limited Participation
WR Deion Branch (knee)
OT Marcus Cannon (ankle)
S Patrick Chung (knee)
LB Dane Fletcher (thumb)
S James Ihedigbo (shoulder)
DL Kyle Love (ankle)
G Logan Mankins (knee)
LB Rob Ninkovich (hip)
LB Brandon Spikes (knee)
OT Sebastian Vollmer (back/foot)
WR Wes Welker (knee)
LB Tracy White (abdomen)

Full Participation
C Dan Connolly (groin)
WR Matthew Slater (shoulder)

For more Patriots news, check out...

01/25/2012 - 4:57pm
Pedroia: 'Surprised' by Scutaro deal

Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia, in his weekly appearance on The Big Show, suggested that he was caught off-guard by Saturday's deal sending shortstop Marco Scutaro -- who had seemed the Sox' likely Opening Day shortstop -- to the Rockies in exchange for Clayton Mortensen. Scutaro hit .299 with a .358 OBP, .423 slugging mark and .781 OPS, and had a huge September (.387/.438/.581/1.019) that made the decision to exercise his option a straightforward one.

Asked if he was shocked by the deal, Pedroia acknowledged, "Yeah, a little bit. I thought the way Marco played last year, especially at the end of the year, what he brought to our team, I was definitely surprised. At the end of the year, Marco played some pretty darn good baseball. It’s going to be tough. Marco was one of those guys that, he’s a gamer. He’s out there, plays hurt, does little things to help your team win, plays solid defense and always seemed to get that big hit...

01/25/2012 - 10:22am
Brickley: 'Not the best decision' by Thomas

NESN Bruins analyst Andy Brickley weighed in on the Tim Thomas situation during his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Wednesday morning.

Thomas skipped the team's visit to the White House Monday due to his political beliefs, and now he's being portrayed by some as a selfish individual who refuses to put the team first.

"I don't know if I'd classify it that strongly," Brickley said. "Goaltenders are a different breed to begin with. Timmy, because he's been such a survivor in his professional career, the mentality he needs to have in order to compete at the level that he needs to compete at in order to be the player he is, you've got to have a little selfishness in you. And that's OK. As long as you're full disclosure with your team, the players understand who you are -- because this team has that unconditional, I have your back, teammate mentality, that you put up with players' flaws in their personality in order to...

01/25/2012 - 8:54am
Mashup: Giants' Tynes criticizes Jets coach

The rivalry between the Patriots and Giants does not compare to both teams' dislike for the Jets. On Tuesday, Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes took a shot at Jets special teams coach Mike Westhoff for comments Westhoff made early in the season about Giants punter Steve Weatherford, a former Jet.

"There were times when he just didn't do the job. … Wasn't good enough, in my opinion," Westhoff said of Weatherford, who averaged 42.6 yards per punt in 2010 for the Jets.

"Unbelievable. That's the worst statement of the year by any coach in this game," Tynes said. "How could you say that? You just broke an NFL record for your team and you throw him under the bus. We're glad to have him. Mike Westhoff is a great coach, but I certainly think he missed on that one."

Responded Westhoff: "Tynes should mind his own business."

After switching to the Giants this season, Weatherford averaged a career-best 45...

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